Willamette Valley in One Day
Posted 15 July 2007 - 07:29 PM
My partner and I will be touring the northern/central Oregon coast in a week, and we will be swinging by Portland for two days prior to heading home to Vancouver, Canada. Our route up north is from either Florence or Newport to Portland, through the Willamette Valley region, and with approximately 200 wineries and only one day, we're seeking recommendations on the best/most interesting wineries to visit. Oregon wines have a very limited exposure here in Canada, so we're only slightly familiar with (and thoroughly enjoy) their Pinot Noirs. Any suggestion/tip/advice is appreciated!
Posted 16 July 2007 - 05:42 PM
there are soooo many but these are the tried and true with us. Dinner at Tina's and Bistrot Maison are also very nice.
Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:57 AM
Torii Mor and Sokol Blosser are also worth a visit for their amazing Pinot Noir. We had a nice lunch at Tina's in Dundee last summer, The Dundee Bistro is also very good. If you want a very nice place for dinner, the Joel Palmer House in Dayton is excellent. Fine dining in a Victorian home, excellent service, they specialize in mushroom dishes. Don't miss the Mushroom Tart if you go here, very good desserts also, especially the Peach Purse and the Creme Brulee.
This summer we hope to try the Painted Lady in Newburg which has received rave reviews lately. Ponzi wines are also very good, you can sample these wines at Dundee Bistro, there is a tasting room adjacent to the restaurant here.
Cheers and enjoy the wine country! :)
Posted 30 July 2007 - 06:08 PM
Haven't got a chance to thank you for recommendations until now. It was a busy week leading up to the trip, and now we are back.
The trip was wonderful, except for the fact that we didn't get to any of the wineries. It's been a habit of ours to plan too many things over too short a journey, and after a few days of feeling like we've been doing nothing but driving, we decided to forgo the wine tasting.
A bit sad, as I spent a lot of time narrowing down our choices based on your recommendations. The finalists were, in no particular order, Scott Paul, Domaine Drouhin, Sokol Blosser, Tori Morr and the Winemaker's Studio. I even created a custom Google map to guide our visits.
On the plus side, I did manage to pick up two bottles of Oregon Pinot Noirs in Portland – one from Patricia Green, and one from Brooks (based on a recommendation by the people at Park's Kitchen). I'm sure they will be wonderful.
Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:10 AM
We stopped at about 14 wineries in the two days. Some of the ones we enjoyed are already mentioned here, but thought I would list them again.
Ponzi - first winery of the day. Walked in at 11am, and he was more than happy to get us set up.
Elk Cove - great view.
Kramer - we thought why not stop in, since it 's down the road from Elk Cove. Wish we hadn't stopped here. I think this is why we decided to stick to our lists we had already made up.
Adelsheim - we were very impressed with the wines here. We were looking for Bergstrom and ended up here instead. Turns out Bergstrom is by appointment only (started in June 2007). We are very happy with the wines bought here and will either be seeking them out here in Chicago or joining their wine club.
Torri Mor - wanted to see the Japanese garden but it was under renovations.
Lange - one of our disappointments. We were looking forward to it, but in the end, we didn't purchase anything here.
Erath - made a nice purchase here. Very nice people.
Archery Summit - our favorite! The wine was wonderful. So good we signed up for the wine club right there. We liked the tasting room - very simple and straightforward - a place where you think it is all about the wine. The tasting fee is one of the highest for the area ($15) but worth every penny. (I should also say that my husband and I share a tasting since I can't consume the wine we would get by myself.)
Witness Tree, Cristom, and Bethel Heights - hit all of these on the next day. All good. Great views also. The only drawback to these 3 wineries is that we were followed by a group of 4 with one very loud, obnoxious woman in the group. She didn't like anything (the wine, the decor, etc.). While she is certainly entitled to that opinion, it's the way she presented it. Luckily, I realized we were going to lose her after Bethel Heights.
We then headed back north to Domaine Serene and Domaine Drouhin. We had heard great things about both of these, and they seem to be two of the more popular stops. In addition, to overhearing others had been/were going here, these were also highly recommended by other wineries. We enjoyed D. Serene, but did not enjoy the wines at D. Drouhin. Granted they were only pouring 3 wines (2 whites and a red), so we didn't sample much, but we just weren't feeling it.
After that one more stop - Scott Paul. Really enjoyed talking to the person pouring our wines here, and ended up with a couple of bottles.
Where we ate - I used this site heavily to rely on where to stop to eat (no surprise since that is what egullet is all about). We enjoyed 3 wonderful meals. Our first was Wednesday night at Bistro Maison. I had the french onion soup and mussels (a huge portion, couldn't eat them all). My husband had the escargot, a nice salad, and the steak tartar. The tartar was very nicely seasoned. The setting was a nice garden setting, where I was given a wrap in case it got too cold, which is always a great touch.
Thursday's lunch was at Tina's. We were happy to get seated when we got there. The place wasn't crowded but there was a large party that was taking up a lot of the servers time (and she was the only one). We were politely told it would be 10 minutes before they could seat us. Since we weren't in a hurry that worked fine for us. I had a nice pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw on it and my husband had a burger.
Thursday night for dinner was at the Painted Lady. Also, very good. (As a side note: my husband did say I was batting 1,000 regarding restaurant choices). We sat outside on their porch, with 2 other parties. We opted for the ala carte menu. The tasting menu looked wonderful, but once you present me with other choices, I would rather create my own menu. We had a nice salmon amuse and we both had the corn bisque with dungeness crab (just the right amount of sweetness). My husband then had the diver scallop. Done just perfectly - warm enough without being overcooked. For the next course, he had the duck breast and I had a pork tenderloin. The pork came as 2 cubes of pork, which is probably my only criticism of the meal. It was a bit over cooked and might have been better prepared as the loin cut up into slices. It was followed by a nice cheese course and then desserts. My husband's chevre panna cotta was wonderful. We split a couple of half bottles, which was just the right amount for us. If you haven't been here yet, we would highly recommend it. It's a nice setting with good food and service. We would go back if in the area again.
Thanks again everyone for all the recommendations!
Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:39 AM
Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:47 AM
Great report, you made it to some of my favorite places. We love Archery Summit, their wines are liquid heaven! Thanks for the report on Painted Lady, also, sounds very nice. :)
Definitely go to the Painted Lady on your next trip. Other than the slightly overdone pork, it was really nice. Overall, our entire trip to Oregon was met with wonderful service and good atmosphere.
Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:04 PM
Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:42 PM
We are planning a 3 day trip to the Willamette Valley. We are food and wine enthusiasts but this is our first trip to the area. I'm wondering if anyone has any updates on "must see" wineries and or restaurants in the area??
I just got back from Portland/ Willamette Yesterday and I would without a doubt try the wines at Belle Ponte( Brian the owner/winemaker is great, Torri Mor ( Margie and Don the owners are awesome), Domaine Serene is always a stand out as is Adlesheim. For dining missed Tina's due to its labor day closure but had a good meal at Dundee Bistro. The best dining though was dinner at Le Pigeon- Gabriele the chef is doing a Beard dinner next week so if it's open it is one of the best in Portland and 30 Mins. from the Valley. ENjoy
Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:37 PM
"life is a combination of magic and pasta"
"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."